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Online Craft Site Etsy Opens SoHo Store for the Holidays

By Andrea Swalec | December 4, 2012 9:44am

SOHO — Indie craft fans no longer have to wait for Santa's sleigh — or UPS — to deliver their holiday gifts. 

The craft and vintage goods website Etsy is operating a holiday pop-up store in SoHo, marking the first time the company has operated a physical store. 

Chock full of items like gloves stitched with a heart formed when the wearer places his palms together ($30), the Etsy Holiday Shop at 131 Greene St. below West Houston Street is selling quirky clothing, accessories and home goods through Saturday. 

Chad Dickerson, CEO of the Brooklyn-based company, said Etsy items like a coffee cup cozy crocheted with a mustache ($12.50-14.50) offer gift-givers unique options. 

"We want shoppers to know that they don’t have to buy the same old gifts this year — Etsy sellers offer a better choice," he wrote on the company's blog. 

Etsy consultant Dana Mauriello, who was overseeing the store Monday, said shoppers there could get something different than they could at an ordinary store. 

"Not only can you buy a piece of jewelry here, you can get it engraved and you can watch as it's made," she said. 

The Etsy store is hosting a long list of workshops and performances, including a Dec. 6 talk by public radio show host Jesse Thorn, a Dec. 7 gingerbread brownstone-making demonstration and a Dec. 8 show by comedian and musician Reggie Watts. 

Nick Sambrato, co-owner of the Orlando-based custom print shop Mama's Sauce Letterpress & Silk Screen, stamped out gift tags bearing Etsy's name on Monday using a 100-year-old letterpress machine. 

Sambrato, 32, attributed the recent popularity of handmade products to many people's desire to feel connected to what they wear and use. 

"A lot of my friends, they could tell you who made the shirt they're wearing," he said. "It's a really cool thing that people are starting to value that more and more." 

The Etsy Holiday shop at 131 Greene St. is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. through Saturday, Dec. 8.